What does Wordsworth compare himself to? Why?
Wordsworth is comparing himself to a cloud in the sky, wandering without a destination, as can be seen in Line 1 of the poem “I wandered lonely as a cloud”. Since he is in the sky like a floating cloud the poet is able to see all the things and events in the world. He has a comprehensive view but he can only observe the world at a distance. There is the suggestion of perfect detachment. In addition the poet compares himself with the wandering cloud in the beginning of the poem because he perceives himself as aimless and as passive as a cloud, which depends completely on the weather and nature for its direction and speed. Being lonely like a floating cloud in the sky, the poet experiences freedom and loneliness at the same time. The freedom allows the poet to appreciate the beauty of the world whole-heartedly, such as the daffodils. As a powerless and aimless cloud, the poet could only watch and appreciate, but he could not join the daffodils in dancing and fluttering in the breeze. The reader might conclude that the poet recognizes himself as an outcast in his society; that he feels he can only watch silently from afar. The continuing use of the image may further suggest to us that the poet may not be satisfied with what he observes of social affairs and is away from the social trend as he is looking at things from a distance. There is always a distance, psychologically and physically, between the daffodils and the poet. At the end the poet remains living in solitude, but the moment of the daffodils is in his heart, treasured and appreciated.This comparison is quite effective in a sense that it captures the helplessness and a sense of lost of the poet, it also captures the infinite distance between the passive pensive aimlessly cloud (the poets’ solitude) and the active cheerful daffodils (happiness).